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14 January 2002, 10:50 am
Champions Crowned
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2002 Australian Youth Championships

Racing concluded yesterday on Perth's Swan River where the 2002 Australian Youth Championships were being held.
Conditions were improved on Saturday morning's which saw only one race bale to be completed. The final day of racing from the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club saw race officials able to complete the scheduled one race for the boys and girls double handed classes and the girls single-handed class, while the boys single-handed class was able to complete their scheduled two races.

With three classes already decided all interest was in the two remaining classes - the boys single-handed dinghy class (which was sailed in the Laser) and the girls double-handed dinghy class (sailed in the 420). Racing came down to the wire in both classes after tight racing throughout the regatta.

Jacqui Bonnitcha & Sarah Clark (NSW) went into the final race this morning with a one point lead over Elise Rechichi & Rayshele Martin (WA). The local girls sailed well to win the race with Bonnitcha & Clark in second. This meant that Rechichi & Martin were tied for overall place with Bonnitcha & Clark, but on a countback first place was awarded to Rechichi & Martin. There were more protests in this class, which saw Anna Patterson & Emma Poulsen (QLD) disqualified, but they still hold onto third place overall. The standard of racing in this class has impressed many at the event this week, and all eyes will now turn to the 420 National Championships beginning at Royal Freshwater Bay on Tuesday, where the battle for Australian Youth Team nomination will continue between the top crews.

In the boys single handed dinghy event, sailed in the Laser, Tom Slingsby (NSW) went into today's final two races with a three point lead over Tim Austin (NSW). Slingsby won both of this morning's races to claim the overall first place by 6 points. Austin finished second overall after recording 2, 6 in today's races. Stewart Wells (TAS) was a further 7 points behind in third place overall after finishing 6, 5, this morning. Slingsby's win here and in the youth class at the Laser Nationals in Albany last week, sees him finish first on the nomination pointscore for the Australian Youth Team to be selected next month.

Nathan Outteridge & Ayden Menzies (NSW) had accumulated enough points to win the Australian Youth Championship in the boys double-handed dinghy class yesterday, but sailed in this morning's final race where they recorded a second placing. Trent Gordon & Sandy Cavill (QLD) took second place overall after finishing in 9th this morning. Just two points behind them was Lachlin Gibson & Jono Newman (VIC) in third, after finishing with a 3 in the final race. This morning's race was won by Nick Davis & Brian Polkinghorne (WA), who finished in 6th overall.

The Australian Youth Champion title in the girls single-handed dinghy class was won by Krystal Weir (VIC) who elected not to sail in today's final race after securing her win yesterday. Weir dominated the racing with 9 wins from 9 races and like her Tom Slingsby in the boys single-handed class, has finished on top of the nomination pointscore for her class for the Australian Youth Team selection. The final race was won by Sarah Cubit (TAS), who finished in 5th place overall. Nicky Souter (NSW) & Katherine Wade (NSW) have battled all week for the minor placing's, and this continued this morning with the pair taking 2nd and 3rd respectively in the final race. Souter & Wade finished with just one point between them overall with Souter in second place and Wade in third overall.

As previously reported the boys sailboard class was won by James Grunfelder (NSW).

Australian Youth Media/ISAF Secretariat
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